UK & World News
Pothole Peril: England Roads 'Are Shocking'
Roads in England are in a poor state, with almost one-third in need of repairs, according to a survey.
Research by the GMB union put the Isle of Wight at the top of the list for the worst roads in England, with more than half needing attention.
North Lincolnshire was second with 47% of its roads needing work, followed by the City of London and Nottingham.
About 5% of roads in England have shown "considerable deterioration" in the past year, the union said.
GMB national officer Brian Strutton said: "It is clear from the official data that our roads are in a shocking state with almost a third needing attention."
Union spokesperson Bert Schouwenburg said the major repairs the roads need are not being carried out.
"The roads are frequently patched up, the utilities come along and dig them up and patch them up," he said.
"Since the hard winter a couple of years ago it's very noticeable.
"The frost did a lot of damage, the roads haven't been properly reinstated and it's a common problem."
GMB said compensation claims are up by 40% in some areas and many roads are broken up and strewn with potholes.
Dean Paffett, from breakdown service Green Flag, said the firm was seeing a "noticeable rise" in calls out to people with damage to their cars as a result of potholes, particularly on minor roads.
"It's nobody's fault. it's the weather we've been having lately with the rains and the frosts we've been getting," he said.
"It's causing a lot more potholes in the roads and vehicles are hitting them.
"It's buckling wheel rims and causing minor suspension damage.
"A lot of the time they won't go through their insurance company because it's what they call a minor claim and it's not worth them going through with them and getting a higher premium the following year."
Mark Spiers, from Essex, said his car is now off the road.
"I was driving along and it just went 'bang', right down two holes," he said.
"I carried on going, got out of the car and there was oil pouring out everywhere.
"It had put a big hole in the sump. The insurance companies are classing it as a write-off."
The GMB said central government cuts were to blame, which meant local authorities were spending less on road maintenance.
Roads minister Mike Penning said the poor quality of the roads was down to the previous Labour government.
"We inherited a really difficult economic situation," he said.
"Roads don't deteriorate overnight, they've been deteriorating like that under the previous administration.
"I don't want to do party politics over this. I'm spending £4.6bn on the major roads over the next few years.
"That's a lot more money anyone dreamed we would have to keep the economy growing and keep our roads open."